June 16, 2024

Moon Desk: Minister of State for Foreign Affairs,Pakistan Hina Rabbani Khar called on Sunday for enhanced cooperation between Europe and Asia-Pacific particularly in trade, investment and sustainable development.

Speaking at the EU Indo-Pacific Ministerial Forum in Stockholm, Khar underscored Pakistan’s role as a trade, investment and connectivity hub in the heart of Asia, which sought to deepen its engagements with the European partners.

Khar took part in the roundtable discussion on ‘Building More Sustainable and Inclusive Prosperity Together’, at the invitation of the EU High representative Josep Borrell and Swedish Foreign Minister Tobias Billstrom.

She appreciated European sustainability and connectivity initiatives like the EU Global Gateway Strategy and the Green Deal. She hoped that the new EU GSP Plus facility would continue its focus on promoting sustainable development and poverty alleviation.

The minister of state stressed on the importance of recognising the symbiotic relationship between sustainability and inclusivity in line with UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

She also called for avoiding distortions, economic de-coupling, new forms of protectionism and selective application of norms, which could undermine free trade, win-win economic cooperation and interconnectedness.

The minister of state emphasised the need for partnerships to deal with emerging global challenges and non-traditional security threats such as climate change, pandemics, water, energy and food security.

Khar proposed greater collaboration between the EU and Asia-Pacific countries in research and capacity building with focus on sustainability, green economies, agriculture and digital connectivity.

In Stockholm, Khar also held bilateral meetings with Swedish Foreign Minister Billstrom, EU High Representative Josep Borrell, UAE Deputy Foreign Minister Noura Alkaabi, UK’s Lord Tariq Ahmad, US State Department Counsellor Derek Chollet, and Thailand’s Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs Vijavat Isarabhakdi.

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